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I need advice...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
This is not directly related to school, but I wouldn't mind a little advice. I've been cooking (for a living) for a bit over a year - I love this industry, love working in kitchens. I've risen to the top of every kitchen I've worked in pretty quick, and I feel my skills are very good (despite not having been to culinary school). I had an interview in a very good restaurant (haute cuisine, one of the top restaurants in the city). I now have an on-the-job interview - 1 day of work to show what I've got. Just wondering what you chefs look for in a new employee, what impresses you on the first day, etc... I'm confident in my skills, know what I've got to do, but some extra advice is always nice.
post #2 of 3
I recently had to "prove myself" aswell. If i was to do it over again i would make my courses more simple and concentrate more on flavour and balance. I would do things that i was acustomed with. I would also plan my menu around the job i was going for. For example, I was going for the job in the Banqueting area and did a four course a-la-carte feast which would have been difficult to replicate for 200. I still got the job but could have saved a head ache!!!
post #3 of 3
When I was in your shoes, here's what I always assumed the chef was looking for:
  • How well could I follow directions?
  • How well could I follow directions and ask questions that clarified any points I might not understand because of different use of terminology?
  • How well could I follow directions and not say, "Oh, that's not how I had to do it at [fill in another restaurant name]."
  • How well could I get through the day without ever saying, "Oh, that's not how we did it at [fill in the restaurant name]."
  • How well could I get along with the staff already there, and they with me?
  • Could I keep up with the pace and not spazz out or go into deer-in-headlights mode?
  • Was I clear about what I knew, and had the brains to ask about stuff I didn't, or did I try to bluff my way through?

And when I was hiring, guess what? That's exactly what I looked for!
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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